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CSPAN
Sep 27, 2012 8:00pm EDT
taliban's momentum on the battlefield and dramatically increased the size and capability of the afghan national security forces. to fully understand the impact of the surge, i think it is a good thing to remind ourselves where things stood in mid-2009. at that time, the momentum was clearly on the side of the taliban. the insurgency was steadily retaking key parts of afghanistan. any time that the -- that our forces would clear an area and then leave, it was immediately taken back by the taliban. there were no areas that were transitioned, mainly because the afghan national security forces were not capable to provide security on their own or counter the taliban. the result was that afghanistan faced the real prospect that the taliban would take over large parts of the country, which ultimately would have strengthened al qaeda's hand and provided it again with a safe haven from which to plan attacks on our homeland. in short, in mid-2009, i think there was a real risk that the mission in afghanistan might very well fail. thanks to the efforts of u.s. and afghan forces and our partners,
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